Ten-term Rep. John Mica (R) led freshman Rep. Sandy Adams (R) in a new poll of Republican primary voters in Florida's reconfigured 7th district in which both Members are running for re-election.
Mica led Adams 46 percent to 30 percent in a horse-race matchup , but Mica's lead appears surmountable with the proper messaging, according to a polling memo obtained by Roll Call.
In the two-page memo, dated Monday to the Adams campaign team, respected pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies wrote: "Adams has a terrific shot to defeat John Mica in a Republican primary if she has the necessary financial resources to compete. As Republican primary voters learn more information about the two candidates in the months leading up to the August primary, Sandy will close this ballot gap significantly."
When interviewers added neutral biographical information about both candidates, Adams took a lead in a head-to-head matchup, 42 percent to 39 percent.
Congresswoman Sandy Adams is serving her first term in office as a member of the Tea Party Caucus. Prior to being elected to Congress, Adams was a member of the U.S. Air Force, an Orange County deputy sheriff and a state Representative.
Congressman John Mica has served in Congress for nearly 20 years and was first elected in 1992. Prior to being elected to Congress, Mica was a member of the Florida House of Representatives and served as a legislative aide in Washington.
Mica's campaign liked the look of this poll. "This reinforces that Congressman Mica is [a] very popular Congressman in central Florida," Mica spokesman Alan Byrd said, adding that the high favorability numbers show that Mica "has represented his constituents very well over the time he's been in Congress."
It's going to cost a lot of money for Adams to knock Mica down from his high perch, and she started 2012 with a distinct cash disadvantage. At the end of the fourth quarter of last year, Mica had $860,000 in cash on hand while Adams, a tea party favorite, had $313,000 in the bank.
The poll of 300 likely GOP primary voters, conducted by live telephone interviews Feb. 22-23, had a margin of error of 5.7 points.
Read more about the 7th district race and all of Florida's newly configured Congressional districts here.